Our Frequently Asked Questions page provides answers to the most common questions we receive. If you have additional questions email or call us at 888-887-2584 and we'd be happy to assist you!
Q. Why choose Archival Designs?
Archival Designs brings you over 35 years of experience in the house plan design business. We offer the best value for your money by offering the highest quality home designs.
We offer a 10% military discount, as well as builder discounts for life! Archival Designs guarantees the lowest prices anywhere online. If you find a house plan advertised online for less send us a screenshot and we'll price-match + 3%.
All house plans sold by Archival Designs have been designed to comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) and to the local codes in the area where the designer resides or where the house was built.
Q. Do your plans meet building codes in my area?
Every city, local municipality and county throughout the United States has different requirements regarding the construction of a set of plans. Prior to purchasing your set of house plans, we recommend meeting with your local building officials in order to determine the building requirements for your area. Our plans are designed to meet most national building codes at the time they were originally drawn; however, many states and counties amend the codes for their local area. It is therefore, the responsibility of the purchaser(s) and/or builder to ensure that the structure is constructed to meet the codes of their local area.
Q. Will the plans be stamped or signed by an architect or engineer?
Stock house plans do not come stamped or signed by an architect or engineer, and may not include structural engineering notes/calculations. All house plans are architectural in nature, and must be reviewed by a local licensed engineer prior to construction. Please check with your local building officials to determine if an architect's stamp is required. After plan purchase from Archival Designs, the purchaser(s) and/or builder is responsible for additional expenses incurred through meeting municipality requirements or other requirements for construction.
Q. Do the plans include everything I need to build my home and get permits?
Our house plans can often be built 'as is'; however, every state, county or municipality will have its own building and code requirements. It is possible that your plan may need to be modified to comply with these local requirements. This is particularly true in coastal areas and those facing seismic events, extreme winds and heavy snow. If you are building in any of these areas, it is likely that a licensed structural engineer will be needed to provide the necessary calculations and additional drawings. We authorize the use of our plans conditioned on your obligation and agreement to strictly comply with all local building codes, ordinances, regulations and requirements, including permits and inspections at the time of and during construction. We recommend checking with your local building department for the most current requirements.
Q. Why aren't plumbing and HVAC included?
Local HVAC codes, climatic requirements and commonly used systems vary throughout the country. The direction of how water flow will enter the home or where the electrical feed will enter will vary from case to case. For this reason, it is impossible to provide universal plans. Your local HVAC and plumbing contractors will determine the best layout for your design.
Q. How many times can I build this plan?
With the purchase of any plan package (excluding a study set), you are licensed to build only one structure from the construction plans. If you plan on building a home more than once, please contact our home plan specialists for more information at 770-831-6363.
Q. Do I own the copyright to the plan I purchase?
No, the designer of the plan retains all copyrights regarding all plans sold. The purchase of a set of house plans in no way transfers any copyright of other ownership interest to the buyer except for a limited license to use that set of home plans for the construction of one structure.
Q. Can I see a sample set of construction plans?
Q. What is the cost to build?
There are many factors involved in figuring the price of your home. It is difficult to determine the actual cost of your home without knowing exactly what materials you will use, what you will pay for labor, and where you will be building. Please consult a local licensed builder for more information on the cost to build. Study set plan packages are often used to determine the cost to build and maybe a good choice for your project.
Q. Can I modify a stock plan?
Absolutely! To request an estimate submit a modification application.
Q. How is square footage calculated?
Square footage calculations include living (heated/cooled) spaces and are calculated from the outside perimeter of the exterior walls. The square footages do not include garages, basements, decks, porches, bonus rooms, and other non-heated spaces. Two-story or vaulted areas, and staircases are only included once in the calculations. Brick and stone is not included in the calculations.
Q. How do I purchase a plan from Archival Designs?
Purchasing a plan is easy! Simply add the house plan you would like to the cart and proceed to checkout. You can also give our home plan specialists a call at 770-831-6363 and place your order by phone. Archival Designs accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Q. How many sets of plan will I need to build my home?
The actual number of sets you will need will vary depending on your specific needs. You will need one for yourself, and multiple for the mortgage lender (appraiser), planning/zoning department (building permit), the subcontractors, and your builder. When you purchase a reproducible plan package such as PDF or AutoCAD, you will have the freedom to print as many sets as you need. If you choose the 5 bond set package, you will have the option to purchase additional sets for the price listed for your home.
Q. What is the difference between the plan format options?
The type of package you choose will be determined based on your specific needs:
- Electronic PDF - A complete set of working drawings delivered in digital PDF format. This option comes with a license to build ONE home and includes a copyright release for printing unlimited sets of plans and making modifications.
- Electronic CAD - A complete set of working drawings delivered in digital DWG format. AutoCAD files are used by design professionals to make significant modifications or engineering calculations to the plan. This option comes with a license to build ONE home and includes a copyright release for printing unlimited sets of plans and making modifications.
- 5 Bond Sets - Five printed sets of working drawings shipped to you. This option comes with a license to build ONE home.
- 5 Bond Sets + PDF - Five printed sets of working drawings shipped to you, plus a digital version in PDF format. This option comes with a license to build ONE home and includes a copyright release for printing unlimited sets of plans and making modifications.
- Study Set PDF - A complete set of working drawings labeled ‘NOT FOR CONSTRUCTION’ delivered in digital PDF format for bidding or study purposes only. This copyrighted house plan does not come with a license to build and may not be used without upgrading the license to 5 Bond Sets, Electronic PDF, or Electronic CAD.
Q. How quickly will I receive my house plan?
All orders are processed within 1-2 business days. We make all efforts to email PDF or AutoCAD orders same business day!
Q. What is the return policy?
Plans sold share intellectual knowledge. Please be certain that the plan you have selected suits your needs as all sales are final.
Q. Can I find out if a certain plan is built in my area?
In order to protect our customer's privacy we are unable to provide any information regarding the location of homes that have been built from our house plans. Many house plans feature photography or renderings.
Q. I am an international customer. How do I purchase a plan?
We sell home plans to customers all over the world! We strongly recommend purchasing AutoCAD packages since it will give you the ability to have the house modified to comply with local building codes in your country. You may order online or by phone at 770-831-6363. At this time, international shipping is only available to Canada. Please call for more information on shipping fees to Canada.
Q. Will a material list be included with my house plan purchase?
A material list will not be included with your purchase. Archival Designs does not offer material lists unless noted otherwise on a plan page.
Feel free to visit Unlimited-Options.com to learn more about their material list services.
Q. Does sales tax apply to my purchase?
Sales tax applies to all customers in the state of Georgia. The applicable sales tax will be determined based on your county of residence. Please contact our home plan specialists at 770-831-6363 for more information on sales tax.
Q. Do you offer discounts?
Archival Designs will occasionally offer discounted prices on the house plans. The discounts exclude modifications, foundations, or upgrade options to the plans. Offers are not valid for prior purchases (no price adjustments). No rain checks will be issued.
Q. Is my personal and credit card information secure?